2004 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Tollison, Turner, Walls, Chamberlin, Robertson, Ross, Doxey, Frazier, Harden, Jackson (11th)

Senate Concurrent Resolution 621

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, Thomas Ray (Tom) Mason, Professor of Law at the University of Mississippi and a 30-year mainstay there, died on Friday, April 16, 2004, at his home in Oxford; and

     WHEREAS, joining the Ole Miss law faculty in 1973, Professor Mason taught torts, evidence, trial advocacy, federal procedure and oil and gas law.  He coordinated the law school's student internship and trial advocacy programs; and

     WHEREAS, "As a member of the faculty, Tom Mason was loved and admired by his students, faculty colleagues, members of our staff and our law alumni," said Chancellor Robert Khayat.  "In his quiet, easy way, Tom was the conscience of the law school, always concerned about those in need.  We will miss Tom, but we will not forget him.  We are grateful for a life well lived"; and

     WHEREAS, Professor Mason was presented the 2004 Outstanding Law Professor of the Year Award at the law school's recent Awards Day ceremony.  Voted by the law school student body and funded by the Law Alumni Chapter of the University of Mississippi Alumni Association, the coveted award also went to Mason in 1975 and 1979; and

     WHEREAS, "Tom was a great teacher, and his students knew that he cared for them," said Sam Davis, Dean of the Law School.  "And he was a good friend.  His steadying influence will be missed at the law school"; and

     WHEREAS, Professor Mason attended the University of Oklahoma on an athletic scholarship, receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Geology in 1957.  He served two years in the United States Army, working one year as counsel in the military courts.  Mason entered the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1959 and worked as a law clerk at various firms during his law school career; and

     WHEREAS, Mason was honored in 1999 with the John Rogers Award as a member of the Board of Editors of the Oil and Gas Reporter, published by the Southwestern Legal Foundation.  The annual award recognizes those who have made notable contributions in the field of oil and gas law; and

     WHEREAS, he is survived by his wife, Darlene Calmes Mason, and two sons and their families:  Mark and Kim Mason and sons, Lake and Cal, of Cedartown, Georgia; and Drew and Darla Mason and daughter, Bani, of Huntsville, Alabama; and

     WHEREAS, to many of his students, Tom was the best professor on campus, as evidenced when 175 law students, wearing white T-shirts that read "For Mason" remembered him at the annual Run/Walk for a Cure, and by the memorial service on April 19, 2004, dedicated to Mason's life and his 31 years at Ole Miss; and

     WHEREAS, it is with sadness that we note the passing of this veteran law professor who earned the respect of his students and brought honor and prestige to his university, his community and to the State of Mississippi:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and legacy of service of veteran University of Mississippi Law Professor Thomas Ray (Tom) Mason of Oxford, Mississippi, and express to his wife and surviving family the sympathy of the Legislature on his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Professor Mason and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.